Evidence Is a Verb: a Relational Approach to Knowledge and Mastery in Coaching.

Within this highly verbose chapter, Drake identifies the need for evidence in coaching to aid the development of the profession. He picks up on key issues including the ‘distinctions among science and practice as they relate to evidence’ and describes the relationship between them as a ‘false dichotomy’. His aim for the future is to see universal guidelines created for the use of evidence in coaching.
Drake’s argument that coaching should become more evidence based, in its purest form, I agree with. He goes on to state ‘coaches need evidence that informs their awareness, shapes their assessment, and guides their actions.’ Of course, if every coach were as proficient as the next, all clients would be receiving fantastic support. I also see the need for any coach to be able to dip into a single resource when posed with a difficult question or situation. However, this chapter also identifies a few contrasting ideas which aren’t discussed sufficiently. For example, the final, future aim from this article is to ‘[develop] shared guidelines for the use of evidence in coaching’, however, one of the types of knowledge outlined in ‘The Links between Research and Practice’ to provide consistent evidence, is ‘Self Knowledge’ or ‘Personal Knowledge’. Personal Knowledge, by definition is completely individual to that coach and although you can describe an experience in terms of context, method, emotion etc, you cannot impart acumen, wisdom or maturity, abilities developed/learned through a lifetime of individual experience and genetics.
Drake states that ‘a commitment from coaches to make use of evidence in guiding their practice decisions’ is ‘contingent’ in reaping the benefits of an evidence based practice. This means decision making and coaching sessions will become more consistent as every coach will be following the same procedures. However the worry would be that they become predictable and in the extreme negate the effectiveness of coaching. If a specific scenario and...